WASHINGTON POST: Saying it is “time to turn the page” on one of the most divisive chapters in American history, President Obama declared the U.S. war in Iraq over Tuesday night, telling the nation that he was fulfilling his campaign pledge to stop a war he had opposed from the start. “Tonight, I am announcing that the American combat mission in Iraq has ended,” Obama said in his second prime-time address from the Oval Office. He heralded his belief “that out of the ashes of war, a new beginning could be born in this cradle of civilization.” In his speech, the president sought to unshackle the nation from a military invasion, begun by his predecessor, that was supposed to swiftly depose a dictator, seize hidden weapons of mass destruction and leave behind a democratic government. Instead, it dragged on for more than seven years as U.S. troops battled a growing insurgency. The war became a recruiting tool and training ground for al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. Obama noted the “huge price” the United States paid during the long, wrenching conflict. Over the course of the war, 1.5 million troops served in Iraq, many of them returning for multiple tours. More than 4,400 died, and 32,000 were wounded. The demands of the war stretched the limits of American military readiness, and its $740 billion cost far outpaced the original estimates. MORE
Lost & Unaccounted for in Iraq: $9 billion of US taxpayers’ money and $549.7 milion in spare parts shipped in 2004 to US contractors. Also, per ABC News, 190,000 guns, including 110,000 AK-47 rifles.
Missing: $1 billion in tractor trailers, tank recovery vehicles, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and other equipment and services provided to the Iraqi security forces. (Per CBS News on Dec 6, 2007.)
Halliburton Overcharges Classified by the Pentagon as Unreasonable and Unsupported: $1.4 billion
Cost of deploying one U.S. soldier for one year in Iraq: $390,000 (Congressional Research Service)
Iraqi Civilians Killed, Estimated: A UN issued report dated Sept 20, 2006 stating that Iraqi civilian casualties have been significantly under-reported. Casualties are reported at 50,000 to over 100,000, but may be much higher. Some informed estimates place Iraqi civilian casualities at over 600,000.
Average Daily Hours Iraqi Homes Have Electricity: 10.9 in May 2007
Pre-War Daily Hours Baghdad Homes Have Electricity: 16 to 24
Number of Iraqi Homes Connected to Sewer Systems: 37%
Iraqis without access to adequate water supplies: 70% (Per CNN.com, July 30, 2007)